Eliminating drudgery and re-engaging our people

Eliminating drudgery and re-engaging our people

In a world obsessed by the power of data, the promise of technology, and cost-savings delivered by
operational excellence initiatives it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the next big thing.
The excitement in the financial services industry is palpable with so many next big things out there.

It’s safe to say RegTech has already been recognised as probably the next big thing according to these
criteria. It offers not just one silver bullet but multiple. RegTech offers opportunities for the retention
of customers, as well as the reduction of costs. It provides improved risk identification tools and up to
date and more relevant information on the regulatory landscape. And the icing on the cake?
Streamlined processes that greatly reduce the time taken to complete everyday tasks.

On the face of it, these are exactly the kind of capabilities that can push a firm towards true corporate
maturity, where a company’s prosperity, capabilities, and health is higher than when it started its
journey. However, a company’s maturity and capability are so much more than just the tech at its
disposal.

To some observers, there has been something missing from the energetic RegTech conversation. People
experience. The adoption of RegTech is not just an opportunity to increase an organisation’s
capabilities. This is an opportunity to consign the drudgery of a myriad of compliance processes to the
scrap heap. Some of these long-winded, hyper-manual tasks can be so dispiriting that those undertaking
them could be forgiven for failing to see the importance of the roles they are carrying out.

For people to achieve happiness at work, the fields of moral, cognitive and positive psychology have
taught us that three things matter to us.

  • Competence. Being afforded the freedom to get good at something because chasing mastery
    is a never-ending process. We’re beguiled by making progress.
  • Autonomy. The ability to set your working day up in a way that suits you. We want to have a
    hand in designing the work we’re responsible for producing.
  • Relatedness. Feeling connected to a company’s objectives, values, and people. We want to feel
    like we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves.

A truly values-led organisation focuses on providing opportunities for continual learning, as well as
affording its people the opportunity to cultivate individual responsibility for what they do. Up until
now, this hasn’t always been the case and this feels like the time in which such opportunities are now
possible.

Clearly, it’s not always going to be possible to provide such platforms from the outset with the skillsets
available because developing RegTech is no easy feat. Organisations are likely going to have to rely on
third parties with the technical skills to develop the answers to their compliance needs. However, it’s
important we take care of developing solutions solely in the hands of people such changes will not
directly affect.

Instead of leaving RegTech projects to the discretion of senior leaders, consultants, and operational
excellence colleagues, it’s important to bring those with skin in the game into the fray. Doing so allows
people to shape their role in the new world, as well as to shape the technology they’ll be using,
building competence and autonomy before the go-live date. When it comes to engagement, you can’t beat
the feeling of having had a hand in creating something of importance for the organisation, particularly
when it directly impacts your role. This is relatedness. Those employee engagement surveys will make
for better reading when people are more certain of their future. RegTech is not just an opportunity to
increase customer retention but colleague retention too.

There’s also a strategic perspective to this. Instead of rushing to implement new tech because our
competitors are doing so, there are wider perspectives to take note of. Anyone in a decision-making
capacity needs to do a few key things to enable their organisation to reach maturity, which acts
responsibly and in line with its stated values, and make the most effective use of its resources.

decision-makers ought to seek out the most able people they can find to craft a vision of the future GRC departments

Decision-makers ought to seek out the ablest people they can find to craft a vision of the future GRC departments

Firstly, decision-makers ought to seek out the most able people, internal and external, they can find to
craft a vision of the future GRC departments. Once in place, it’s important to look hard for the wasteful
processes and reports of days gone by, making sure these are avoided in the next life. The focus should
only ever be on value creation activities. Quality, efficiency, and engagement are the magic words
here. Finally, senior leaders should really consider what skills their company will need in the future,
create a plan and set it in motion so that its people can flourish.

The future of work is changing beneath our feet and RegTech is one of the many opportunities tech
affords us to right the wrongs of the past. Let’s not let this opportunity to improve the working lives of
our people pass us by. Let’s include our people in the conversation. Let’s consign drudgery to the
dustbin and reengage our workforce.

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